Friday, 22 April 2016

I'm interviewed by a 7 year old writer.

One of my readers has a seven year old daughter, Chloe, whose chosen school project involved interviewing a writer.

Reproduced here with the permission of Chloe and her dad.

Obviously this is not an invitation to have dozens of children send me their homework!

Q1:    Do you like to write and draw?

I enjoy writing, yes. Enjoying writing is an important part of being a writer, and many people seem to forget it. Just wanting to be an author isn't enough.

Q2:    Do you have a favorite character in a book?

I have many. Choosing is hard. Tyrion Lannister from A Game of Thrones, Paddington Bear, Cugel the Clever from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series ... many more.

Q3:    Do you like being a writer?  What’s it like?  Is it hard and fun?

I do. I enjoy chasing stories across the page. I don't find it hard. It's a fairly lazy business. The only pressure is not knowing whether people will pay to read what I write. You don't find that out until much later.

Q4:    What kinds of things do you need to study to be a writer?

I don't think you need to study anything. You just need to write. The more you do it, the better you'll get. I studied science and mathematics.

Q5:    How long does it take to write a book?

That depends on many things. How long is the book? How fast is the writer. It takes George Martin over five years to write one of his fat books. It takes me about 9 months to write one of my slimmer ones.

Q6:    Can you write and type fast?

By hand I write very slowly. I can type fast though. I learned when I did a lot of computer programming in my science job.

Q7:    What’s your favorite type of book to read or to write?

Fantasy books! But I also like science fiction and literary fiction.

Q8:    Did you like to write when you were a kid?

I did, but only for English lessons in school. I never thought I would be a writer.

Q9:    Do you like cats?

I do. Especially big, fat, furry ones.


  1. That is a cat that does not want to be held.

  2. I think it's really cool you did this Mark!

  3. It was very nice of you to help her with her school project.

  4. Chloe's Dad here. I can't say enough nice things about Mark for helping and encouraging her. And the cat was cool for the first few pictures, but I had to keep taking more to get a clear look at the book!